Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) joined a bipartisan group in introducing a resolution honoring the legacy of the late Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN). The resolution recognizes Senator Lugar’s enormous contributions to nuclear non-proliferation, and pushes for the U.S. to continue its leadership in advancing global non-proliferation efforts, including by considering extending the New START Treaty that Senator Lugar championed from his post on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
In addition to Senator Collins, the resolution was introduced by Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Todd Young (R-IN), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Rand Paul (R-KY), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Mike Braun (R-IN), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Tina Smith (D-MN). Companion legislation was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Congressmen Brad Sherman (D-CA), Jim Banks (R-IN), Bill Foster (D-IL), Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM), and Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN).
Former Senator Lugar, whose life is being honored today in Indianapolis, passed away on April 28th, 2019. Senator Lugar, who served in the Senate from 1977 to 2013, left a remarkable legacy in the halls of Congress, particularly as a foreign policy leader. He was instrumental in ushering in the New START Treaty, which continues to cap Russia’s strategic nuclear arsenal, helping to unwind the Cold War arms race of the mid-20th century. The Cooperative Threat Reduction Program, commonly known as the “Nunn-Lugar Program,” eliminated 7,600 nuclear weapons in the former Soviet Union.
“Senator Richard Lugar was a true statesman and patriot, a leader who served with such integrity and intelligence. He was one of the finest Senators with whom I had the privilege of serving. Senator Lugar made such a positive difference not only as a mayor and a Senator, but also globally where his foreign policy expertise, especially on nuclear non-proliferation, was widely respected. At the Lugar Center, he continued to promote the bipartisanship that was a hallmark of his work in the Senate. I’m honored to join my colleagues in honoring his service to our country and continuing his important legacy of working to reduce the world’s production and stockpiling of nuclear weapons,” said Senator Collins.
This resolution honors Senator Lugar’s legacy and calls for the United States to continue critical non-proliferation efforts by:
- Encouraging all parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) to comply fully with the treaty;
- Maintaining support for the International Atomic Energy Agency, which regulates nuclear technology and conducts international inspections for nuclear weapons compliance;
- Considering an extension of the New START Treaty, which is set to expire in February 2021, and beginning negotiations with Russia to secure and reduce nonstrategic nuclear weapons in a verifiable manner;
- Condemning Russia’s violation of the Intermediate-Range Forces (INF) Treaty, and urging them to come back into compliance while refraining from steps that would set off an arms race on the European continent ; and
- Pursuing a verifiable and comprehensive arms control agreement with Russia and China.
A copy of the full resolution can be found here.